The reason that companies have exit interviews is to gain valuable information which can prove to be useful in all aspects of the work environment, including aspects such as the work culture, day to day concerns, processes, issues around management style, workplace ethics and employee morale. This is an invaluable way to gain insights that you may not have been able to garner when an employee is still on the team.

“When employees leave, always ask for an exit interview if they are open to it.” 

An exit interview will give the company the opportunity to get the opinions of those leaving the company in terms of how they perceive the company, and most importantly, why they would want to leave the company. Once employees have handed in their resignation and know they are leaving, they are far more likely to open up and be honest when asked to provide constructive criticism in terms of how they perceive the company, the way it’s run, its culture, its management style, and the opportunities offered for career growth. As a result, the exit interview provides invaluable information such as:

  • Identify Troublesome Trends. By keeping track of the outcome of exit interviews over a period of time, you can identify trends and patterns over time as to why people are wanting to leave the company.
  • Avoid People Leaving on Bad Terms. An exit interview will also give you the opportunity to sort out issues with those leaving the company on bad terms.
  • Gain Perception of Management. One aspect that should always be covered during an interview is that of the individual’s perception of management. Ask about how the individual perceives their direct manager as well as the management team.
  • Who Conducts Them. An exit interview should typically be conducted by a an objective person not directly involved with the individual (or by a human resource resource if one exists). This allows for objectivity, as well as the opportunity for the individual to be able to voice their concerns and gripes, without feeling awkward or threatened in any way.

At the end of the day, exit interviews can be extremely effective tools when used properly, in terms of assessing and analyzing overall employee engagement. If this information is used properly it can be extremely valuable in terms of playing a part in preventing future employees from leaving the company, and improving the company’s overall working environment.

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